Before the Internet there were only a few ways to watch movies. I could go to the cinema, watch television, or hire the videotape. Now that our world has gone digital and movies are encoded as streams of bits, there are many more options available for watching films. I can find a film online and watch it almost immediately.
I enjoy watching feature films at the cinema but in recent years I only see one or two films at the cinema, usually those best suited to the big screen – for example, Star Wars and Interstellar.
I love movies – modern and old, and especially movies from Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Stanton Library at North Sydney regularly buys overseas films from Madman Entertainment and these DVDs can be borrowed at no charge for library members. But where can I find other movies which aren’t available on DVD?
Google is your friend
The first thing I do is use Google and search for the movie name followed by full movie. If the film is not in English then I add English sub to the search. You may get lucky and find the movie. But be warned! Some of the search results look promising but when you view the film it is a movie telling you how to access some dubious web site for downloading. For example, if I want to find the 1994 Chinese film “To Live” starring Gong Li and directed by Zhang Yimou I can search To Live full movie English sub. (Click that link, see the search results then enjoy the film.
Watching movies on YouTube is easy, especially using the YouTube iPad app. The movies can be downloaded if you want to keep a copy using a program like YouTube downloaded which I described in an earlier blog article.
Many older films are available on YouTube and some organisations use YouTube to distribute their movies for free. The Korean Film Archive YouTube channel has over 100 films.
Other film sites
beamafilm – the independent movie streaming site created by filmmakers; distributors and video on demand specialists. beamafilm is unique for its collection of signature Australian docos and indie features from around the world, many which are only available through beamafilm. My local library offers access to Beamafilm and it is just a matter of entering my library card number to watch the films.
Viki has over 1000 Asian movies mostly romantic comedies and dramas
ABC Iview Access recently broadcast programs from the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Great for watching documentary series and comedies but not movies.
SBS on demand – SBS is Australia’s multicultural broadcaster. Many movies are available online.